ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A search is underway near the Osceola-Polk county line for a missing Orange County teenager after her mother's boyfriend was arrested Wednesday in connection with the disappearance.
More than a dozen deputies on ATVs and horses are searching for the teen in the area of Lake Wilson Road and Town Center Boulevard near the Osceola-Polk county line.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office said it is also following up on tips the agency has received about Chery's disappearance, officials said.
Chery was last seen at her home at the Hawthorne Grove apartment complex in Orange County early Monday morning.
Chery’s family and friends are putting out a desperate plea for information in the case.
“All I’m worried about right now is finding my sister,” said Alexandria Chery’s brother, Fanzo Chery.
As word of her disappearance spread through social media, crime scene technicians spread out across Orange County searching for any signs of foul play.
Sanel Saint Simon was arrested in the case and charged with providing false information to a law enforcement officer and attempted destruction of evidence.
Saint Simon, authorities said, is the long-time boyfriend of Chery's mother.
Authorities said Chery told her mother about 7 a.m. that she didn’t feel well and was staying home for the day. When her mother got home later that evening, however, her daughter was nowhere to be found.
Investigators said almost all of Chery's personal belongings were gone from the closets and dresser when they arrived at the scene.
The only thing left in the room was an oversized stuffed teddy bear with what appeared to be a moderate amount of blood or some sort of substance on the foot.
“The individual could have been seriously injured or it could have been a homicide,” said Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings.
The mother said she also saw blood spatter on several other areas of the residence and that there was a strong odor of bleach coming from a pair of men's underwear found under her daughter’s bed.
Chery's mother also noted that the bed, which is usually made well, was stripped of the comforter, sheets and pillows.
Saint Simon went to his job at the South Kirkman Road Boston Market about 7 a.m. Monday, but left without notification about 9:30 a.m., according to authorities.
Investigators said Saint Simon was untruthful during questioning and Chery's disappearance is considered extremely suspicious.
Authorities are processing Saint Simon's black Pontiac hoping to find clues. They're asking anyone who may have seen the car in the area on Monday to contact authorities.
Saint Simon is being held in the Orange County Jail.